12 candidates set for Guinea vote amid opposition split

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Guinea's President Alpha Conde greets his supporters in Conakry on October 31, 2019. - Tens of thousands of Guineans rallied in support of President Alpha Conde on October 31, 2019, after two weeks of violent protests against the leader's suspected bid to prolong his rule claimed around 10 lives. (Photo by CELLOU BINANI / AFP) (Photo by CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Guinea’s President Alpha Conde greets his supporters in Conakry on October 31, 2019. (Photo by CELLOU BINANI / AFP) 

12 candidates were given the go-ahead on Wednesday to contest in the October presidential elections in Guinea, where incumbent President Alpha Conde is seeking a controversial third term.

The constitutional court approved 12 applications that had been filed by the Tuesday midnight deadline, excluding a 13th bid submitted by a minority candidate, on medical grounds.

Approval by the court marks a key step towards polling day on October 18 in one of Africa’s most volatile countries.

The coming elections have already been overshadowed by a row over the president’s future and a split that emerged on Wednesday within anti-Conde ranks is set to add to the tension.

Conde this year pushed through a revised constitution that opponents say was crafted to get around a two-term limit for presidents.

Last week he ended months of speculation by confirming that he would seek a third term despite protests in which dozens have been killed.

The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), an anti-Conde coalition of parties, labor unions and civil society groups, have been campaigning against the revision which it has denounced as a constitutional coup.

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